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Animals, Volume 8, Issue 7 (July 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Cognitive bias testing can reveal the level of optimism and pessimism in animals' judgements, and [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Identification and Characterization of Long Noncoding RNAs in Ovine Skeletal Muscle
Animals 2018, 8(7), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070127
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 13 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 23 July 2018
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Abstract
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are increasingly being recognized as key regulators in many cellular processes. However, few reports of them in livestock have been published. Here, we describe the identification and characterization of lncRNAs in ovine skeletal muscle. Eight libraries were constructed from
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Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are increasingly being recognized as key regulators in many cellular processes. However, few reports of them in livestock have been published. Here, we describe the identification and characterization of lncRNAs in ovine skeletal muscle. Eight libraries were constructed from the gastrocnemius muscle of fetal (days 85 and 120), newborn and adult Texel and Ujumqin sheep. The 2002 identified transcripts shared some characteristics, such as their number of exons, length and distribution. We also identified some coding genes near these lncRNA transcripts, which are particularly associated with transcriptional regulation- and development-related processes, suggesting that the lncRNAs are associated with muscle development. In addition, in pairwise comparisons between the libraries of the same stage in different breeds, a total of 967 transcripts were differentially expressed but just 15 differentially expressed lncRNAs were common to all stages. Among them, we found that TCONS_00013201 exhibited higher expression in Ujumqin samples, while TCONS_00006187 and TCONS_00083104 were higher in Texel samples. Moreover, TCONS_00044801, TCONS_00008482 and TCONS_00102859 were almost completely absent from Ujumqin samples. Our results suggest that differences in the expression of these lncRNAs may be associated with the muscular differences observed between Texel and Ujumqin sheep breeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Cognitive Components of Vocal Communication: A Case Study
Animals 2018, 8(7), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070126
Received: 22 May 2018 / Revised: 2 July 2018 / Accepted: 18 July 2018 / Published: 23 July 2018
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Abstract
Communication among nonhuman animals is often presented as rigid and inflexible, reflecting emotional states rather than having any cognitive basis. Using the world’s smallest monkey, the pygmy marmoset (Cebuella pygmaea), with the smallest absolute brain size amongst simian primates as a
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Communication among nonhuman animals is often presented as rigid and inflexible, reflecting emotional states rather than having any cognitive basis. Using the world’s smallest monkey, the pygmy marmoset (Cebuella pygmaea), with the smallest absolute brain size amongst simian primates as a case study, I review the role of cognition in the development and usage of vocalizations in pygmy marmosets and present new data on the instrumental use of babbling and of food associated vocalizations. Pygmy marmosets have several contact calls that differ in the psychoacoustic properties for sound localization as well as the distance at which they carry through the rainforest. Marmosets use these calls strategically based on distance from neighbors. Marmosets alter spectral and temporal aspects of call structure when exposed to new groups and when newly mated. They display population specific vocal dialects. Young pygmy marmosets engage in extensive babbling behavior rewarded by parents that helps the young develop adult vocal structures, but older monkeys also use babbling instrumentally in conflict situations. Specific food referential calls generally relate to food preferences, but food calls are suppressed in the presence of animate prey. Unmated animals systematically combine a long distance call with food calls as though advertising for mates. Taken together, these examples show that even small brained primates use their vocal signals flexibly and strategically in response to a variety of environmental and social conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Communication)
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Open AccessArticle Seasonal Differences in Animal Welfare Assessment of Family Farming Dual-Purpose Cattle Raised under Tropical Conditions
Animals 2018, 8(7), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070125
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 6 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 21 July 2018
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Abstract
Conditions on farms in the tropics can differ greatly depending on the season of the year. Characteristics such as disease prevalence, climate and availability of resources may not be constant all year around; however an acceptable level of animal welfare must be maintained
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Conditions on farms in the tropics can differ greatly depending on the season of the year. Characteristics such as disease prevalence, climate and availability of resources may not be constant all year around; however an acceptable level of animal welfare must be maintained throughout the year. Since it is neither practical nor economically feasible to perform several assessments per year, the purpose of this study was to define whether there were animal welfare issues at farms that were affected by the season to identify which season would present a greater risk to animal welfare, using a risk-based approach. Forty-five dual-purpose family farms in the Mexican tropics were assessed via the Welfare Quality® protocol. During the rainy season, 2.2% of the farms were classified as excellent, 57.8% as enhanced, 31.1% as acceptable and 8.9% as unclassified. In the dry season, 31.1% were classified as excellent, 68.9% as enhanced and none of the farms were categorized as acceptable or unclassified. Consequently, the season which presented the greatest risk to animal welfare of dual-purpose cattle raised under tropical conditions was the rainy season. However, there were management-related differences observed between the two seasons and the dry season also had some animal welfare threats. The fact that farms scored higher during the dry season is possibly the result of farmer awareness, leading to modification of their systems to provide animals with the necessary inputs to meet their production needs. If these modifications were not fulfilled, then welfare conditions might have been jeopardized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Welfare Problems in Cattle, Pigs, and Sheep that Persist Even Though Scientific Research Clearly Shows How to Prevent Them
Animals 2018, 8(7), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070124
Received: 27 June 2018 / Revised: 12 July 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 20 July 2018
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Abstract
Poor production and handling practices continue to persist that are both detrimental to animal welfare and financially burdensome. These practices continue to persist for three reasons: (1) a segmented marketing chain where a producer is not held financially accountable for losses; (2) failure
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Poor production and handling practices continue to persist that are both detrimental to animal welfare and financially burdensome. These practices continue to persist for three reasons: (1) a segmented marketing chain where a producer is not held financially accountable for losses; (2) failure to measure and assess chronic painful problems such as lame livestock; and (3) repeating old mistakes, such as housing fattening cattle for long periods of time on bare concrete. Two examples of the first type of losses are bruises caused by poor handling and sick cattle at feedlots caused by failure to vaccinate and precondition weaned calves at the farm of origin. In some segmented marketing systems, there is no economic incentive to vaccinate. When the animals get sick, the responsibility gets passed to the next person. Buyers of meat products can reduce these “passed on” losses by source verification. The first step to reducing problems, such as lame livestock, is to measure the percentage of lame animals and work with the producers to reduce them. Also, transportation payments should be changed and contracts should be based on the condition of the animals at delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
Open AccessArticle The Use of Qualitative Behaviour Assessment for the On-Farm Welfare Assessment of Dairy Goats
Animals 2018, 8(7), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070123
Received: 28 May 2018 / Revised: 16 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 19 July 2018
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Abstract
This research investigated whether using qualitative behaviour assessment (QBA) with a fixed list of descriptors may be related to quantitative animal- (ABM) and resource-based (RBM) measures included in the AWIN (Animal Welfare Indicators) welfare assessment prototype protocol for goats, tested in 60 farms.
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This research investigated whether using qualitative behaviour assessment (QBA) with a fixed list of descriptors may be related to quantitative animal- (ABM) and resource-based (RBM) measures included in the AWIN (Animal Welfare Indicators) welfare assessment prototype protocol for goats, tested in 60 farms. A principal component analysis (PCA) was conducted on QBA descriptors; then PCs were correlated to some ABMs and RBMs. Subsequently, a combined PCA merged QBA scores, ABMs and RBMs. The study confirms that QBA can identify the differences in goats’ emotions, but only few significant correlations were found with ABMs and RBMs. In addition, the combined PCA revealed that goats with a normal hair coat were scored as more relaxed and sociable. A high farm workload was related to bored and suffering goats, probably because farmers that can devote less time to animals may fail to recognise important signals from them. Goats were scored as sociable, but also alert, in response to the presence of an outdoor run, probably because when outdoors they received more stimuli than indoors and were more attentive to the surroundings. Notwithstanding these results, the holistic approach of QBA may allow to register animals’ welfare from a different perspective and be complementary to other measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Emotion)
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Open AccessArticle Pharmacokinetics of Salicylic Acid Following Intravenous and Oral Administration of Sodium Salicylate in Sheep
Animals 2018, 8(7), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070122
Received: 13 June 2018 / Revised: 11 July 2018 / Accepted: 16 July 2018 / Published: 18 July 2018
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Abstract
The pharmacokinetics of salicylic acid (SA) in sheep was evaluated following intravenous (IV) and oral administration of sodium salicylate (sodium salt of salicylic acid) at different doses. Six healthy sheep were administered sodium salicylate (SS) IV at doses of 10, 50, 100 and
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The pharmacokinetics of salicylic acid (SA) in sheep was evaluated following intravenous (IV) and oral administration of sodium salicylate (sodium salt of salicylic acid) at different doses. Six healthy sheep were administered sodium salicylate (SS) IV at doses of 10, 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight and another six sheep were drenched with 100 and 200 mg/kg of SS orally. Both studies were randomised crossover trials. A one-week washout period between each treatment was allowed in both studies. Blood samples were collected at 0, 15, 30 min and 1, 2, 4 and 6 h after IV and oral SS administrations. Plasma SA concentrations were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with diode array detection method. Pharmacokinetic variables were calculated in a non-compartmental model. The elimination half-life (T1/2 el) of SA after IV administration of 200 mg/kg SS was 1.16 ± 0.32 h. Mean bioavailability of SA was 64%, and mean T1/2 el was 1.90 ± 0.35 h, after 200 mg/kg of oral SS. The minimum plasma SA concentration (16.8 µg/mL) reported to produce analgesia in humans was achieved after IV administration of 100 and 200 mg/kg SS in sheep for about 0.17 h in this study. Experiments on pharmacokinetic–pharmacodynamics modelling are required to determine the actual effective plasma concentration range of SA in sheep. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Open AccessArticle Valence and Intensity of Video Stimuli of Dogs and Conspecifics in Sheep: Approach-Avoidance, Operant Response, and Attention
Animals 2018, 8(7), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070121
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 9 July 2018 / Accepted: 14 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
Stimuli are often presumed to be either negative or positive. However, animals’ judgement of their negativity or positivity cannot generally be assumed. A possibility to assess emotional states in animals elicited by stimuli is to investigate animal preferences and their motivation to gain
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Stimuli are often presumed to be either negative or positive. However, animals’ judgement of their negativity or positivity cannot generally be assumed. A possibility to assess emotional states in animals elicited by stimuli is to investigate animal preferences and their motivation to gain access to these stimuli. This study’s aim was to assess the valence of social stimuli in sheep. We used silent videos of varying intensity of dogs as negative versus conspecifics as positive stimuli in three approaches: (1) an approach–avoidance paradigm; (2) operant conditioning using the video stimuli as reinforcers; and (3) an attention test. In the latter, we assessed differential attention of sheep to simultaneous projections by automatically tracking sheep head and ear postures and recording brain activity. With these approaches, it was difficult to support that the sheep’s reactions varied according to the stimuli’s presumed valence and intensity. The approach–avoidance paradigm and attention test did not support the assumption that dog videos were more negative than sheep videos, though sheep reacted to the stimuli presented. Results from the operant conditioning indicated that sheep were more prone to avoid videos of moving dogs. Overall, we found that standard video images may not be ideal to represent valence characteristics of stimuli to sheep. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Emotion)
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Open AccessCommunication Could the Visual Differential Attention Be a Referential Gesture? A Study on Horses (Equus caballus) on the Impossible Task Paradigm
Animals 2018, 8(7), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070120
Received: 22 June 2018 / Revised: 9 July 2018 / Accepted: 14 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
In order to explore the decision-making processes of horses, we designed an impossible task paradigm aimed at causing an expectancy violation in horses. Our goals were to verify whether this paradigm is effective in horses by analyzing their motivation in trying to solve
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In order to explore the decision-making processes of horses, we designed an impossible task paradigm aimed at causing an expectancy violation in horses. Our goals were to verify whether this paradigm is effective in horses by analyzing their motivation in trying to solve the task and the mode of the potential helping request in such a context. In the first experiment, 30 horses were subjected to three consecutive conditions: no food condition where two persons were positioned at either side of a table in front of the stall, solvable condition when a researcher placed a reachable reward on the table, and the impossible condition when the food was placed farther away and was unreachable by the horse. Eighteen horses were used in the second experiment with similar solvable and impossible conditions but in the absence of people. We measured the direction of the horse’s ear cup as an indicator of its visual attention in terms of visual selective attention (VSA) when both ears were directed at the same target and the visual differential attention (VDA) when the ears were directed differentially to the persons and to the table. We also included tactile interaction toward table and people, the olfactory exploration of the table, and the frustration behaviors in the ethogram. In the first experiment, the VDA was the most frequent behavior following the expectancy violation. In the second experiment, horses showed the VDA behavior mostly when people and the unreachable resource were present at the same time. We speculate that the VDA could be a referential gesture aimed to link the solution of the task to the people, as a request for help. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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Open AccessArticle Relationship between Methods of Loading and Unloading, Carcass Bruising, and Animal Welfare in the Transportation of Extensively Reared Beef Cattle
Animals 2018, 8(7), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070119
Received: 21 June 2018 / Revised: 9 July 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
In Uruguay, extensive, welfare-friendly beef production is a substantial part of the economy and culture. Transport of beef cattle to slaughterhouse compromises animal welfare. The objective of this study was to assess transport conditions related to carcass bruising. A total of 242 trucks
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In Uruguay, extensive, welfare-friendly beef production is a substantial part of the economy and culture. Transport of beef cattle to slaughterhouse compromises animal welfare. The objective of this study was to assess transport conditions related to carcass bruising. A total of 242 trucks with 8132 animals were assessed on loading, transport, unloading conditions, and carcass bruising. Average loading time was 26 min and 21 s and the perception of the truck drivers was correlated with the time took for loading and the use of devices. In 39.3% of the loadings only a flag was used. The average unloading time was 5 min and 54 s with a significant difference in time for the use of devices; only flag 3 min 51 s, cattle prod 6 min 43 s and sticks 8 min 09 s. Of the carcasses observed, 772 (9.5%) had no bruises, 873 (10.7%) had one bruise, 1312 (16.1%) two, 1231 (15.1%) three and 3944 (48.5%) had four or more bruises. Prevalence of bruises were highest on the Tuber-coxea (hip) (29.3%) following forequarter (22.4%), Tuber-ischiadicum (rear) (17.3%), ribs/flank (14.1%), rump/round (10.1%) and loin (6.8%). Bruises were 68.7% grade 1 and 31.3 % grade 2; there were no grade 3, the deepest ones, observed. It appeared that animal welfare training of truck drivers worked out well and the use of flags increased compared to a previous study in 2008. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Effect of Environmental Enrichment and Herbal Compounds-Supplemented Diet on Pig Carcass, Meat Quality Traits, and Consumers’ Acceptability and Preference
Animals 2018, 8(7), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070118
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 10 July 2018 / Accepted: 14 July 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
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Abstract
Animal welfare can be considered an ethical attribute of product quality, but consumers should appreciate its added value. The aim of this study was to evaluate consumer’s acceptability, preference, and the meat and carcass quality of pigs reared with two stress-reducing strategies: supplementation
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Animal welfare can be considered an ethical attribute of product quality, but consumers should appreciate its added value. The aim of this study was to evaluate consumer’s acceptability, preference, and the meat and carcass quality of pigs reared with two stress-reducing strategies: supplementation of an herbal compound (HC) containing Valeriana officinalis and Passiflora incarnata, and environmental enrichment (EE) by the provision of hemp ropes, sawdust, and rubber balls. A total of 56 pigs were divided in four treatments in two pens of seven pigs per treatment (2 × 2 factorial design). Meat and carcass quality were evaluated. Consumer’s acceptability and preference were analysed with a sensory test and a conjoint analysis in 110 consumers. Before slaughter, control pigs (no EE and no HC) presented lower live weight compared with other treatments (p = 0.0009). Although acceptance was the same for all of the treatments, consumers preferred systems aiming to increase pig welfare. The most important factor was production system, with a preference for those improving welfare, followed by feeding system, with a preference for those with natural herbs supplementation. Although price was the least important factor, a segment of consumers showed a clear preference for lower prices. These results suggest that welfare improvements could be appreciated by particular consumer segments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Dietary Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) and Multi-Strain Probiotic on Growth and Carcass Traits, Blood Biochemistry, Immune Responses and Intestinal Microflora in Broiler Chickens
Animals 2018, 8(7), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070117
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 11 July 2018 / Accepted: 11 July 2018 / Published: 14 July 2018
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Abstract
A total of 225 day-old male broiler chicks (Ross-308) were randomly allocated to five treatment groups, with three replicates in a completely randomized design for 42 days. Birds were fed a basal-diet supplemented with: no additive (control-diet), multi-strain probiotic (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus
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A total of 225 day-old male broiler chicks (Ross-308) were randomly allocated to five treatment groups, with three replicates in a completely randomized design for 42 days. Birds were fed a basal-diet supplemented with: no additive (control-diet), multi-strain probiotic (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Enterococcus faecium and Bifidobacterium thermophilum), or 0.15, 0.20 and 0.25% ginger (Z. officinale) powder, respectively. The results show no significant differences among treatments for growth traits and carcass characteristics, whereas using probiotics and ginger at all levels resulted in a significant decrease of gizzard weight and abdominal fat compared to the control group. Dietary treatments did not affect blood biochemistry and antibody production against sheep red blood cells (SRBC), IgG and IgM; however, antibody titre was higher in birds fed 0.25% ginger than other diets after 7 days post injection. The Lactobacillus counts in ileal content of birds fed 0.20 and 0.25% ginger were higher compared to the other treatments. In conclusion, dietary supplementation with either ginger or probiotics showed a significant influence on birds’ immune response, probably because ginger had strong antioxidant activity and the probiotics stimulated the production of natural antibodies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
Open AccessReview Managing Aged Animals in Zoos to Promote Positive Welfare: A Review and Future Directions
Animals 2018, 8(7), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070116
Received: 20 June 2018 / Revised: 6 July 2018 / Accepted: 11 July 2018 / Published: 13 July 2018
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Abstract
Improvements in veterinary care, nutrition, and husbandry of animals living in zoos have led to an increase in the longevity of these animals over the past 30 years. In this same time period, the focus of animal welfare science has shifted from concerns
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Improvements in veterinary care, nutrition, and husbandry of animals living in zoos have led to an increase in the longevity of these animals over the past 30 years. In this same time period, the focus of animal welfare science has shifted from concerns over mitigating negative welfare impacts to promoting positive welfare experiences for animals. For instance, providing opportunities for animals to exert agency, solve problems, or acquire rewards are all associated with positive welfare outcomes. Many common age-related changes result in limitations to opportunities for positive welfare experiences, either due to pain or other physical, cognitive, or behavioral limitations. This review aggregates information regarding common age-related physical and behavioral changes across species, discusses how age-related changes may limit positive welfare opportunities of aged animals in human care, and suggests potential management methods to help promote positive welfare for animals at all life stages in zoos and aquariums. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoo Animal Welfare)
Open AccessArticle The Behaviour and Productivity of Mid-Lactation Dairy Cows Provided Daily Pasture Allowance over 2 or 7 Intensively Grazed Strips
Animals 2018, 8(7), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070115
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 5 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 11 July 2018
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Abstract
Research into the effects of intense grazing regimes on cattle behaviour and productivity will support the ethical intensification of pastoral dairy production. Two treatments were applied to two herds of 30 mid-lactation cows over 28 days. Cows were offered an estimated 12 kg
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Research into the effects of intense grazing regimes on cattle behaviour and productivity will support the ethical intensification of pastoral dairy production. Two treatments were applied to two herds of 30 mid-lactation cows over 28 days. Cows were offered an estimated 12 kg DM/cow (above 5 cm from ground level) of irrigated pasture per day. The control herd received their daily pasture allocation in two equal grazings while the experimental herd received theirs over seven smaller grazings. Backgrazing beyond the current allocation (morning or afternoon) was prevented. Individual records were taken daily for milk production and behaviour (MooMonitor+). Milk composition, energy corrected milk (ECM), and live weight were recorded weekly. Feeding mid-lactation dairy cows over seven smaller grazing allocations reduced the time cows spent ruminating (p < 0.001), milk yield (p < 0.001), and ECM (p < 0.05). However, milk composition, live weight, time feeding, and pasture consumption were not affected by feeding frequency (p > 0.05). Cattle may have adapted their ingestive behaviour in response to the more intensive strip-grazing regime utilised in this study, with negative consequences for digestive processes and consequently milk production. Intense grazing regimes need to support the ingestive, digestive, and social behaviours of cattle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Open AccessArticle A Description of Laying Hen Husbandry and Management Practices in Canada
Animals 2018, 8(7), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070114
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 9 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 11 July 2018
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Abstract
Canadian laying hen farms are transitioning from conventional cage housing to furnished cage and non-cage housing systems to improve laying hen welfare. However, little is known about the current housing and management systems in Canada. This study addresses this knowledge gap by describing
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Canadian laying hen farms are transitioning from conventional cage housing to furnished cage and non-cage housing systems to improve laying hen welfare. However, little is known about the current housing and management systems in Canada. This study addresses this knowledge gap by describing different housing and management practices used on farms where laying hens were housed in furnished cages or non-cage housing systems. A questionnaire covering farm and housing conditions, litter management, nutrition and feeding, environmental control, flock characteristics, rearing and placement, health, egg production and performance were distributed through provincial egg boards to 122 producers across Canada. Data were collected from 65 laying hen flocks (52.5% response rate) in 26 furnished cage, 17 single-tier and 22 multi-tier systems. Flocks were on average 45.1 ± 14.59 weeks old (range: 19–69 weeks). Frequencies of different management practices were calculated according to housing system. Most flocks were reared in the same housing system as they were housed in during lay, with the exception of furnished cage layers which were reared in conventional cage systems. Results indicated that a large proportion of non-cage systems were either fully slatted or had manure as a litter substrate, which could have implications for consumer perspectives on these systems. Further research is needed to develop clear recommendations on proper litter management for farmers. In general, flock health was managed through daily inspections and vaccination schemes, whereas veterinarian involvement on-farm was less common. Vaccination, hygiene, and effective biosecurity should be maintained to ensure good health in laying hens in furnished cage and non-cage systems during the transition to these systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Open AccessArticle Hair Testosterone and Cortisol Concentrations in Pre- and Post-Rut Roe Deer Bucks: Correlations with Blood Levels and Testicular Morphometric Parameters
Animals 2018, 8(7), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070113
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 20 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 6 July 2018
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Abstract
The roe deer is a seasonally breeding species with a reproductive cycle regulated by endogenous rhythms and photoperiod-sensitivity. Sexually mature bucks show hormonal and testicular activation during the reproductive season, with a peak in the rut period, and following gradual involution. Hair is
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The roe deer is a seasonally breeding species with a reproductive cycle regulated by endogenous rhythms and photoperiod-sensitivity. Sexually mature bucks show hormonal and testicular activation during the reproductive season, with a peak in the rut period, and following gradual involution. Hair is a good matrix for non-invasive endocrinological analyses that provide long-term information without being influenced by the hormones’ pulsating release patterns in blood. The aim of the work was to quantify hair concentrations of testosterone and cortisol in wild roe deer bucks hunted during the pre- and post-rut period, using a radioimmunoassay methodology, and to look for differences between the two periods. The secondary objective was the evaluation of possible correlations of such hair concentrations with blood and morphometric parameters of the testes. Both hormones showed statistical differences, with opposing trends, when comparing the two periods: testosterone increased while cortisol decreased. The correlation analysis was in agreement with existing literature regarding metabolism/actions of these hormones and testicular morphometric parameters. This study represents the first report of the use of radioimmunoassay techniques to quantify testosterone and cortisol in roe deer hair, and may provide interesting insights into their reproductive physiology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Dog Ecology and Rabies Knowledge of Owners and Non-Owners in Sanur, A Sub-District of the Indonesian Island Province of Bali
Animals 2018, 8(7), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070112
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 2 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
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Abstract
This study gained an understanding of dog demographics, owner behaviour, and knowledge, attitudes and practices relating to rabies in three villages in Sanur, Bali, providing insights for an intervention to improve responsible dog ownership. A combination of a census of all dogs, street
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This study gained an understanding of dog demographics, owner behaviour, and knowledge, attitudes and practices relating to rabies in three villages in Sanur, Bali, providing insights for an intervention to improve responsible dog ownership. A combination of a census of all dogs, street surveys of roaming dogs, and a Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) survey was used to study both dogs and people. A total of 6009 dogs were recorded, of which only 3.3% appeared to be unowned; unowned dogs had poorer welfare and were more likely to be wary of attempted approaches by people. The source of dogs, method of confinement used by owners, and whether dogs were sterilised differed between three breed types; purebred dogs, mixed breed, and Bali dogs (native breed). Three variables were found to have significant effects on the chances of not being vaccinated: age, dog type, and confinement. A mean of 3.81 roaming dogs per km of street surveyed was recorded along 28 sub-village routes. Responses to attitude statements showed that most people had a positive attitude towards dogs and vaccination and did not agree with culling. Knowledge of appropriate bite treatment and symptoms of rabies in dogs was good. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Using Farm Animal Welfare Protocols as a Base to Assess the Welfare of Wild Animals in Captivity—Case Study: Dorcas Gazelles (Gazella dorcas)
Animals 2018, 8(7), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070111
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
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Abstract
There is a lack of protocols specifically developed for the assessment of welfare of wild animals in captivity, even when it is known that providing good standards of welfare is important. The aim of this study was the development and the application of
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There is a lack of protocols specifically developed for the assessment of welfare of wild animals in captivity, even when it is known that providing good standards of welfare is important. The aim of this study was the development and the application of a protocol for the assessment of welfare in captive dorcas gazelles. The protocol was mainly developed taking into account the protocol for the assessment of welfare in cattle from the Welfare Quality® project, the available literature of the biology of this species and the Husbandry Guidelines developed for captive breeding and management of this species. The protocol was specifically developed for dorcas gazelles and included four principles, 10 criteria and 23 animal and environmental-based indicators. To test its utility, this protocol was applied to five different groups of gazelles from three different zoos. Its application made possible to detect areas for improvement in all groups assessed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoo Animal Welfare)
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Open AccessReview Assessment of Welfare in Zoo Animals: Towards Optimum Quality of Life
Animals 2018, 8(7), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070110
Received: 18 May 2018 / Revised: 26 June 2018 / Accepted: 2 July 2018 / Published: 4 July 2018
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Abstract
Zoos are required to maintain a high standard of animal welfare, and this can be assessed using a combination of resource-based and animal-based indices usually divided into behavioural indicators, physiological indicators and clinical/pathological signs. Modern animal welfare assessments should aim to encompass positive
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Zoos are required to maintain a high standard of animal welfare, and this can be assessed using a combination of resource-based and animal-based indices usually divided into behavioural indicators, physiological indicators and clinical/pathological signs. Modern animal welfare assessments should aim to encompass positive affective states and the indicators that are useful in assessing these are discussed. When developing factors to be scored for each species, there is huge variability in the available information about the natural biology for some zoo species and even less information concerning those animals in captivity. Wild baselines are not always the most accurate indicator of what is right for an animal in captivity, which makes the identification of factors to include within species-specific welfare assessment even more challenging. When planning a welfare strategy for any species, it is important that the full range of their biological requirements and needs are considered, but this can be challenging for some zoo species and it is not possible to define a “one size fits all” welfare strategy. The different approaches for welfare assessment are reviewed, including the development of the Animal Welfare Assessment Grid which offers an evidence-based tool for continual welfare assessment, using technology where appropriate, to facilitate decision making and lead to improvements in the animals’ quality of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoo Animal Welfare)
Open AccessArticle Application of Fraser’s “Practical” Ethic in Veterinary Practice, and Its Compatibility with a “One Welfare” Framework
Animals 2018, 8(7), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070109
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 28 June 2018 / Published: 3 July 2018
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Abstract
Ethically challenging situations are common in veterinary practice, and they may be a source of moral stress, which may in turn impact the welfare of veterinarians. Despite recognition of the importance of ethical reasoning, some veterinary students may struggle to apply theoretical ethical
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Ethically challenging situations are common in veterinary practice, and they may be a source of moral stress, which may in turn impact the welfare of veterinarians. Despite recognition of the importance of ethical reasoning, some veterinary students may struggle to apply theoretical ethical frameworks. Fraser developed a “practical” ethic consisting of four principles that can be applied to ethically challenging situations. We apply Fraser’s “practical” ethic to three cases that veterinarians may encounter: animal hoarding, animal neglect, and treatment of wildlife. We argue that Fraser’s “practical” ethic is consistent with a One Welfare framework, and may have increasing currency for veterinarians in the light of the World Animal Health Organisation’s Global Animal Welfare Strategy. Both Fraser’s “practical” ethic and a One Welfare framework require veterinarians to consider the impacts of animal ethics decisions on a broader scale than most other ethical frameworks have prepared them for. We discuss the strengths and limitations of Fraser’s “practical” ethic when applied in veterinary contexts and recommend additional support and training to enable veterinarians to effectively apply these frameworks in real-world settings. Full article
Open AccessReview Gastrointestinal Parasites in Shelter Dogs: Occurrence, Pathology, Treatment and Risk to Shelter Workers
Animals 2018, 8(7), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070108
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 28 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
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Abstract
Dogs entering shelters can carry gastrointestinal parasites that may pose serious risks to other animals, shelter staff and visitors. Shelters provide an environment that could facilitate the spread of parasitic infections between animals. Nematodes and protozoa that transmit through ingestion or skin penetration
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Dogs entering shelters can carry gastrointestinal parasites that may pose serious risks to other animals, shelter staff and visitors. Shelters provide an environment that could facilitate the spread of parasitic infections between animals. Nematodes and protozoa that transmit through ingestion or skin penetration are major enteric parasites of concern in shelter settings. Ancylostoma spp., Uncinaria stenocephala, Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina, Trichuris vulpis and Dipylidium caninum are the major helminths while Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Isospora spp. and Sarcocystis spp. are the most prevalent protozoan parasites in shelter dogs. The prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in shelter dogs is typically higher than in owned dogs. A range of cost-effective drugs is available for prevention and control of helminths in shelters, notably fenbendazole, pyrantel, oxantel, and praziquantel. Parasiticide options for protozoan parasites are often cost-prohibitive or limited by a lack of veterinary registration for use in dogs. Environmental control measures reliant upon hygiene and facility management are therefore a mainstay for control and prevention of protozoan parasites in shelters. This philosophy should also extend to helminth control, as integrated parasite control strategies can allow anthelmintics to be used more sparingly and judiciously. The purpose of this article is to comprehensively review the current knowledge on the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites most commonly found in dogs in shelters, canvass recommended treatment programs in shelter dogs, and to explore the likelihood that parasiticide resistance might emerge in a shelter environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sheltering)
Open AccessArticle Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability during Sleep in Family Dogs (Canis familiaris). Moderate Effect of Pre-Sleep Emotions
Animals 2018, 8(7), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070107
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 6 June 2018 / Accepted: 23 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
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Abstract
The domestic dog (Canis familiaris) has been shown to both excel in recognising human emotions and produce emotion-related vocalisations and postures that humans can easily recognise. However, little is known about the effect of emotional experiences on subsequent sleep physiology, a
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The domestic dog (Canis familiaris) has been shown to both excel in recognising human emotions and produce emotion-related vocalisations and postures that humans can easily recognise. However, little is known about the effect of emotional experiences on subsequent sleep physiology, a set of phenomena heavily interrelated with emotions in the case of humans. The present paper examines heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) during dogs’ sleep, measures that are influenced by both positive and negative emotions in awake dogs. In Study I, descriptive HR and HRV data is provided on N = 12 dogs about the different sleep stages (wake, drowsiness, non-rapid eye movement (non-REM), REM; scoring based on electroencephalogram (EEG) data). We conclude that wakefulness is characterised by higher HR and lower HRV compared to all sleep stages. Furthermore, drowsiness is characterised by higher HR and lower HRV than non-REM and REM, but only if the electrocardiogram (ECG) samples are taken from the first occurrence of a given sleep stage, not when the longest periods of each sleep stage are analysed. Non-REM and REM sleep were not found to be different from each other in either HR or HRV parameters. In Study II, sleep HR and HRV measures are compared in N = 16 dogs after a positive versus negative social interaction (within-subject design). The positive social interaction consisted of petting and ball play, while the negative social interaction was a mixture of separation, threatening approach and still face test. Results are consistent with the two-dimensional emotion hypothesis in that following the intense positive interaction more elevated HR and decreased HRV is found compared to the mildly negative (lower intensity) interaction. However, although this trend can be observed in all sleep stages except for REM, the results only reach significance in the wake stage. In sum, the present findings suggest that HR and HRV are possible to measure during dogs’ sleep, and can potentially be used to study the effect of emotions not only during but also after such interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Emotion)
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Open AccessArticle Australian Public Opinions Regarding the Live Export Trade before and after an Animal Welfare Media Exposé
Animals 2018, 8(7), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070106
Received: 17 May 2018 / Revised: 17 June 2018 / Accepted: 19 June 2018 / Published: 29 June 2018
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Abstract
The long distance export of livestock from Australia to Asia has long aroused controversy for suspected animal welfare concerns during and after the voyage. However, there is little or no information on the attitude of the Australian public towards this trade. A total
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The long distance export of livestock from Australia to Asia has long aroused controversy for suspected animal welfare concerns during and after the voyage. However, there is little or no information on the attitude of the Australian public towards this trade. A total of 522 Australians were surveyed in Brisbane to find out about their understanding of the trade, their attitudes towards it and the influence of demographic factors. Approximately one half of respondents were surveyed just before a media exposé of cruelty on sheep shipments in 2017 from Australia to the Middle East and one half just after the exposé, to see the impact of media depiction of cruel treatment of live export sheep. Most respondents believed that they were familiar with the industry, and more after the media exposé than before. More respondents had negative than positive feelings about the trade, and just over a quarter had no feelings. Twice as many thought it should be ended than maintained, particularly women, but 40% said that it depends, mainly on ethics and animal-based reasons. Those that thought it should not be ended mainly did so to support farmers and the country’s economy. Almost one half had seen the media exposé, particularly older respondents, and expressions of sadness, empathy for the animals and anger were the most common responses to such footage. Although it increased the number of people saying that they were familiar with the trade, it did not affect people’s view of the trade, except that fewer indicated that ending the trade was dependent on other factors. It is concluded that the majority of Australian respondents in one capital city had negative views towards the live export trade, and that a media exposé had some influence on this view. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assessment of Commercially Available Immunoassays to Measure Glucocorticoid Metabolites in African Grey Parrot (Psittacus Erithacus) Droppings: A Ready Tool for Non-Invasive Monitoring of Stress
Animals 2018, 8(7), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070105
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 18 June 2018 / Accepted: 18 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
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Abstract
Despite being undomesticated, African Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithacus) are commonly found in captivity, in zoos or as pets. Captivity can be an ongoing stressor. Non-invasive glucocorticoid metabolites (GCM) measurements from bird droppings are of interest for assessing stress but require careful
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Despite being undomesticated, African Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithacus) are commonly found in captivity, in zoos or as pets. Captivity can be an ongoing stressor. Non-invasive glucocorticoid metabolites (GCM) measurements from bird droppings are of interest for assessing stress but require careful evaluation in each newly studied species. This study describes the assessment of such methods for Psittacus erithacus to provide tools for evaluating stress and monitoring welfare. We evaluated 12 method combinations of GCM extraction and enzyme immunoassay (EIA) from a pool of African Grey Parrot droppings, through the validation of several analytical parameters. Then, Heterophil: Lymphocyte Ratios (HLR), another reliable stress marker, were determined and correlated to individual dropping GCM concentrations for 29 birds to determine whether the method is biologically relevant. We found that the best procedure to measure GCM in African Grey Parrot droppings is a combination of 60% methanol extraction measured using a Corticosterone EIA kit (Cayman Chemical Company) from fresh or dry droppings. The establishment of a significant correlation (Pearson coefficient correlation = 0.48; p = 0.0082) between HLR and GCM in the studied population confirmed the method biological relevance. This method can thus be applied to assess stress in Psittacus erithacus and support welfare monitoring in zoo populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoo Animal Welfare)
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Open AccessReview Cognitive Bias in Zoo Animals: An Optimistic Outlook for Welfare Assessment
Animals 2018, 8(7), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070104
Received: 5 June 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 26 June 2018 / Published: 27 June 2018
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Abstract
Cognitive bias testing measures how emotional states can affect cognitive processes, often described using the “glass half-full/half-empty” paradigm. Classical or operant conditioning is used to measure responses to ambiguous cues, and it has been reported across many species and contexts that an animal’s
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Cognitive bias testing measures how emotional states can affect cognitive processes, often described using the “glass half-full/half-empty” paradigm. Classical or operant conditioning is used to measure responses to ambiguous cues, and it has been reported across many species and contexts that an animal’s cognitive bias can be directly linked to welfare state, e.g., those in better welfare make more optimistic judgements. Cognitive bias testing has only recently been applied to animals and represents a key milestone in welfare science: it is currently one of the only accurate methods available to measure welfare. The tests have been conducted on many farm, laboratory, and companion animal species, but have only been carried out in zoo settings a handful of times. The aims of this review are to evaluate the feasibility of cognitive bias testing in zoos and its potential as a tool for studying zoo animal welfare. The few existing zoo cognitive bias studies are reviewed, as well as those conducted on similar, non-domesticated species. This work is then used to discuss how tests could be successfully designed and executed in zoo settings, which types of tests are most appropriate in different contexts, and how the data could be used to improve animal welfare. The review closely examines the many variables are present in the zoo which cannot be controlled as in other settings, termed here the Zoo Environment (ZE) Variables. It is recommended that tests are developed after consideration of each of the ZE Variables, and through strong collaboration between zookeepers, managers, and academic institutions. There is much unexplored potential of cognitive bias testing in the zoo setting, not least its use in investigating animal welfare in zoos. It is hoped that this review will stimulate increased interest in this topic from zoo managers, scientists, and industry regulators alike. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoo Animal Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle Behaviour-Based Husbandry—A Holistic Approach to the Management of Abnormal Repetitive Behaviors
Animals 2018, 8(7), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070103
Received: 2 June 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 23 June 2018 / Published: 27 June 2018
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Abstract
The field of zoo animal welfare science has developed significantly over recent years. However despite this progress in terms of scientific research, globally, zoo animals still face many welfare challenges. Recently, animal welfare frameworks such as the five domains or five needs have
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The field of zoo animal welfare science has developed significantly over recent years. However despite this progress in terms of scientific research, globally, zoo animals still face many welfare challenges. Recently, animal welfare frameworks such as the five domains or five needs have been developed and suggested to improve the welfare of zoo animals, but without practical guidance, such tools may remain abstract from the daily experience of zoo animals. Similarly specific practical strategies such as those for enrichment development exist, but their lack of holistic integration with other aspects of animal husbandry and behavioral medicine means that overall, good zoo animal welfare may still be lacking. This paper outlines some of the barriers to implementing improved zoo animal welfare in practice, and proposes a new strategy for the development of behavioral husbandry routines focused on the management and mitigation of abnormal repetitive behaviors. Focusing on enhancing zoo animal welfare by integrating aspects of ecology, ethology and clinical animal behavior into a practical and comprehensive approach to behavior-based husbandry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoo Animal Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle Alterations in Metabolic Status and Headshaking Behavior Following Intravenous Administration of Hypertonic Solutions in Horses with Trigeminal-Mediated Headshaking
Animals 2018, 8(7), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070102
Received: 13 February 2018 / Revised: 31 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 June 2018 / Published: 25 June 2018
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Abstract
Trigeminal-nerve-mediated headshaking represents a major welfare challenge for owners and veterinarians and is caused by a low threshold firing of the trigeminal nerve resulting in pain manifested as violent head jerking that often terminates the horse’s career and life due to poor quality
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Trigeminal-nerve-mediated headshaking represents a major welfare challenge for owners and veterinarians and is caused by a low threshold firing of the trigeminal nerve resulting in pain manifested as violent head jerking that often terminates the horse’s career and life due to poor quality of life and suffering. As metabolic changes such as acid–base status and electrolytes play a role in nerve firing, this study sought to assess the effects following administration of hypertonic solutions on headshaking behavior in affected horses. This prospective randomized controlled crossover design utilized six horses affected with trigeminal-mediated headshaking and three treatment groups receiving intravenous administration of 5% dextrose solution at 2 mL/kg bwt (DS), NaCl 7.5% at 4 mL/kg bwt (HS), or NaHCO3 8.4% at 2 mmol/kg bwt (HB). Horses were assessed for headshaking behavior changes at times T0 (baseline, before infusion) and T15, 30, 60, 120 min post infusion. Venous blood variables: pH, HCO3, standard base excess (SBE), Na+, Cl, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, total magnesium (tMg), glucose, and lactate were measured at T0 (baseline, before infusion) and T5, 15, 30, 60, 120 min post infusion. Strong ion difference (SID) and anion gap (AG) were calculated for each time point. With HB treatment, there was greater than 50% reduction in headshaking rate. There was an effect of time on increasing headshaking rate. There was an effect of breed on headshaking rate. Changes in blood parameters following DS were virtually absent. Infusion of HS caused mild changes and did not vary much from baseline except for SID and AG. Only infusion of HB caused blood pH and HCO3 to be outside of the physiologic range (alkalemia and metabolic alkalosis, respectively), SBE to double or triple, AG to decrease, and SID to increase compared to baseline. Infusion of DS was followed by increase in blood glucose and decrease in blood Na+. Infusion of HS was followed by increase in Na+ and Cl and decrease in Mg2+. Infusion of HB was followed by decrease in Mg2+. Blood tMg, K+, and Ca2+ decreased slightly, but did not vary greatly from baseline following any of the treatments, remaining within physiologic ranges. Changes in blood composition were transient. Among all treatments, only HB had an effect on headshaking rate. The limited effects following these fluids were likely due to normal mechanisms of regulation of blood levels of pH and electrolytes. Further investigations of changes in electrolytes that might affect nerve firing should be explored. Full article
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Open AccessReview Forensic Use of the Five Domains Model for Assessing Suffering in Cases of Animal Cruelty
Animals 2018, 8(7), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070101
Received: 28 May 2018 / Revised: 18 June 2018 / Accepted: 18 June 2018 / Published: 25 June 2018
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Abstract
Conceptual frameworks for understanding animal welfare scientifically are widely influential. An early “biological functioning” framework still influences expert opinions prepared for Courts hearing animal cruelty cases, despite deficiencies in it being revealed by the later emergence and wide scientific adoption of an “affective
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Conceptual frameworks for understanding animal welfare scientifically are widely influential. An early “biological functioning” framework still influences expert opinions prepared for Courts hearing animal cruelty cases, despite deficiencies in it being revealed by the later emergence and wide scientific adoption of an “affective state” framework. According to “biological functioning” precepts, indices of negative welfare states should predominantly be physical and/or clinical and any that refer to animals’ supposed subjective experiences, i.e., their “affective states”, should be excluded. However, “affective state” precepts, which have secure affective neuroscience and aligned animal behaviour science foundations, show that behavioural indices may be utilised to credibly identify negative welfare outcomes in terms of negative subjective experiences, or affects. It is noted that the now very wide scientific acceptance of the “affective state” framework is entirely consistent with the current extensive international recognition that animals of welfare significance are “sentient” beings. A long list of negative affects is discussed and each one is described as a prelude to updating the concept of “suffering” or “distress”, often referred to in animal welfare legislation and prosecutions for alleged ill-treatment of animals. The Five Domains Model for assessing and grading animal welfare compromise is then discussed, highlighting that it incorporates a coherent amalgamation of “biological functioning” and “affective state” precepts into its operational features. That is followed by examples of severe-to-very-severe ill-treatment of dogs. These include inescapable psychological and/or physical abuse or mistreatment, excessively restrictive or otherwise detrimental housing or holding conditions, and/or seriously inadequate provision of the necessities of life, in each case drawing attention to specific affects that such ill-treatment generates. It is concluded that experts should frame their opinions in ways that include negative affective outcomes. Moreover, the cogency of such analyses should be drawn to the attention of the Judiciary when they are deliberating on suffering in animals, thereby providing a basis for them to move from a current heavy reliance on physical and/or clinical indices of cruelty or neglect towards including in their decisions careful evaluations of animals’ negative affective experiences. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Food Calls in Common Marmosets, Callithrix jacchus, and Evidence That One Is Functionally Referential
Animals 2018, 8(7), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070099
Received: 28 May 2018 / Revised: 17 June 2018 / Accepted: 18 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
We studied three calls of common marmosets, Callithrix jacchus, elicited in the context of food. Call A, but not B or C, had been described previously as a food call. We presented insects (live mealworms or crickets) and fruit (banana or blueberries)
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We studied three calls of common marmosets, Callithrix jacchus, elicited in the context of food. Call A, but not B or C, had been described previously as a food call. We presented insects (live mealworms or crickets) and fruit (banana or blueberries) and used playbacks of calls. We found that Call C was produced only in response to seeing insects, and not fruit; it consistently signaled the availability of insects (includes mealworms), and more so when this food could be seen but not consumed. Playback of Call C caused the marmosets to stop feeding on a less preferred food (banana) and, instead, go to inspect a location where mealworms had been found previously, providing evidence that it has referential meaning. No such immediate response was elicited on hearing Call A or background noise. Call A differed from C in that it was produced more frequently when the marmosets were consuming the food than when they could only see it, and call A showed no specificity between insects and fruit. Call B was emitted less frequently than the A or C calls and, by the marmosets that were tested alone, most often to crickets. An audience effect occurred, in that all three calls were emitted more often when the marmosets were tested alone than when in pairs. Recognition of the functional significance of marmoset calls can lead to improved husbandry of marmosets in captivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Communication)
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Open AccessArticle Strategies to Reduce the Euthanasia of Impounded Dogs and Cats Used by Councils in Victoria, Australia
Animals 2018, 8(7), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070100
Received: 13 March 2018 / Revised: 13 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
Using euthanasia to manage dog and cat overpopulation causes health issues and emotional stress in employees involved, increases staff turnover, and has financial, moral and ethical ramifications for communities. Welfare agencies and local government agencies (councils) share responsibility for managing companion animal populations.
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Using euthanasia to manage dog and cat overpopulation causes health issues and emotional stress in employees involved, increases staff turnover, and has financial, moral and ethical ramifications for communities. Welfare agencies and local government agencies (councils) share responsibility for managing companion animal populations. This study investigated Australian councils in the state of Victoria, to identify strategies used to reduce euthanasia. Statistics regarding animal populations, registration, intake, reclaim, rehome and euthanasia were obtained from the Domestic Animal Management Plan of each council. Of the 79 Victorian councils, 74% achieved ≤10% euthanasia of impounded dogs, which is widely quoted as zero euthanasia of adoptable and treatable animals. The mean euthanasia rates for cats by the councils was 48%, with only one council achieving a euthanasia rate of ≤10% for cats. Mean reclaim rates for dogs were higher (73%) than for cats (13%), as was the mean proportion of unclaimed dogs rehomed (71%), compared to cats (45%). Telephone questionnaires were conducted with animal management officers from 35 councils (44%). Those with low euthanasia rates had high reclaim rates and/or rehome rates. Reclaim, rehome and euthanasia rates for dogs and cats were not significantly different between councils that operated their own pound facilities and those that utilized the services of welfare organizations to operate pounds on behalf of the council. More council managers believed they would never achieve ≤10% euthanasia for cats (49%) than for dogs (11%). A variety of strategies were used by councils to achieve high reclaim and rehoming rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sheltering)
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